Friday, October 3, 2014

A.P. Literature and Awesomeness: October 3, 2014

Focus: What larger ideas are manifested through Cal and Aron?

Please make me give back your stuff!!!

1. Warming up with two quick activities:

Reading a quick recap of the original Cain and Abel and freewriting on to what extent this story is coming true, word for word in East of Eden with Cal and Aron.  How does the idea of timshel come into play in the recent reading (or does it)?

Enjoying a little musical chairs with your reading tickets (question, response, follow-up question)

2. Discussing Chapters 44 through 49 of East of Eden via Socratic seminar

3. Wrapping up

1. Complete your final East of Eden reading assignment!  Your reading ticket is to start working on your big question blog.

2. You need your independent reading book by Tuesday at the latest.


  1. Joe and Cathy are at odds, how are they manipulating each other?
    -Cathy has finally met her match, and Joe is able to manipulating her
    -Joe is a dumber version of the old Cathy
    -Cathy has descended to Joe’s level, not the other way around.
    -It’s the fact that Cathy is so afraid of Ethel (even though Ethel tried to talk to them, but hey just brushed her off)

    Why is Cathy so afraid of Ethel?
    -Ethel is the first part of Cathy’s past that has actually come back to haunt her
    -Except for Cal (and her family) have also come back to haunt her. Maybe it’s her entire past coming back to haunt her
    -Cathy has been beaten before and now that she is being threatened again, she is going to try to win
    -Cal points out to Cathy that she is weak, and before that she hadn’t realized it. Now that she knows, she is afraid and she is acting differently.

    Pg 498. Steinbeck devotes a lot of time to describing Joe. How is Joe’s hatred different from Cathy’s?
    -Cathy was automatically born with the ability to hate, while Joe had to build it up. Joe’s hatred is almost more refined, because hatred is all Cathy knows, while Joe knows other emotions and can compare them
    -Joe’s hatred is centered around specific people and things, while Cathy hates the whole world

    Steinbeck always talks about monsters that are born vs. monsters that are made. What does this say about Cathy (who was born evil) and Joe (who was made to be evil)? Is evil innate, or is it created?
    -Charles was born innately evil, like Cathy, but he chose to act good, for the most part.
    -This comes back to the idea of timshel, and how you can choose to be a sinner or not. As we see Kate go from black and white to shades of grey, we can see her begin to experience timshel.
    -Kate is afraid of the good, and what will happen to her if she becomes good
    -We see a lot of evil character’s evilness (Cathy and Charles) deteriorate as they get older
    -Aron sees things only as black and white, which is why he almost enjoys being away from Abra more, so that

    How did you connect the story of Cain and Abel to the recent events in the book?
    -I connected how Cain kills Abel to how Cal shows Aron the truth about their mother, and Aron then decides to join the army. It’s like Cal killed Aron by proxy
    -It may have been kinder if Cal had beaten Aron up, instead of showing Aron the truth.
    -Cal showing Aron the truth stole away Aron’s sense of innocence
    -Aron believed that his mother would be perfect, but when he met her, all his ideas are shattered. It changes everything he knows about himself

  2. -Aron did the same thing to his mother that he did to Abra: built her up in his mind. And upon coming back from college, he was forced to face the truth
    -Aron also had all his trust and faith in his father destroyed upon realizing his father had lied to him for so long

    Why does Aron join the Army?
    -Aron almost becomes suicidal after the events with his mother.
    - Cal really just wants his father to be proud of him, but his father only compares this to Aron. What’s ironic is how he’s proud of something that doesn’t exist in Aron.

    Cal knows his money won’t buy his father’s love. Why does he still go through with it?
    -It’s the idea of unconditional love. Cal hoped that his father would still at least act pleased with his gift
    -Cal thinks that if he did anything else to earn his father’s love, he would still be in Aron’s shadow. So he makes a grand gesture in an attempt to stand out
    -Making money is the only thing that Aron has not been successful in, so Cal wants to prove that he does have things he is better at than Aron

    Why didn’t Lee step in when he knew that Adam would reject the gift and destroy Cal?
    -Lee sees himself as a bystander and an outsider to this family, so he doesn’t think he can interfere, even though he cares about these people
    -Lee kind of plays God, in that he is always there, although he doesn’t usually step in.
    - I think Lee does get involved, in that he tells Aron to lie to Adam about graduating.

    Does Adam really not love Cal? It may be a different kind of love, but I don’t get the sense that Adam truly doesn’t love Cal.
    -Adam trusts that Cal will find his way in life without the overt fatherly love that Aron requires. Cal is smart and does what he needs to do. Adam just loves him from afar, maybe.

    -Does Adam reject Cal’s gift because it is a profit of war? Would he have accepted it otherwise?
    -It seems that Cal is losing control. What affect does this have on the idea of timshel?
    -Does Cal’s wealth force him to become more mature?
    -End of ch 49, Aron isn’t named, and Cathy never remembers his name. How is this significant?
    -Will the characters overcome fate and use free will?
    -Why does the discovery of their mom destroy Aron, while it builds Cal up?
    -Why is Cathy blind to Joe’s true intentions?